Toledo Rockets vs. Akron Zips

Oddsmakers currently have the Zips listed as 6-point favorites versus the Rockets, while the game's total is sitting at 54.

Aaron Opelt threw for one TD and 216 yards as Toledo lost 21-20 to Central Michigan in Week 9.

The Rockets covered the 3.5-point spread, while the final score played UNDER the day's posted total of 56.5.

Dennis Kennedy rushed for three touchdowns to lead Akron to a 42-35 win over Eastern Michigan in Week 8.

The Zips covered the 4.5-point spread, while the combined score played OVER the day's posted total of 53.5.

Current streak:
Toledo has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Toledo: 2-6 SU, 4-4 ATS
Akron: 4-4 SU, 5-2-1 ATS

Toledo most recently:
When playing in November are 6-4
When playing on turf are 3-7
After being outgained are 6-4
When playing within the conference are 4-6

Akron most recently:
When playing in November are 5-5
When playing on turf are 4-6
After outgaining opponent are 2-8
When playing within the conference are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Toledo's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Toledo's last 6 games on the road
Toledo is 3-11 ATS in its last 14 games on the road
Toledo is 3-12 SU in its last 15 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Akron's last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Akron's last 9 games
Akron is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games at home
Akron is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games at home

Next up:
Toledo at Western Michigan, Saturday, November 15
Akron home to Buffalo, Thursday, November 13

Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Ball State Cardinals

Oddsmakers currently have the Cardinals listed as 9½-point favorites versus the Huskies, while the game's total is sitting at 47.

Northern Illinois got two field goals in the fourth quarter and earned a 16-13 victory over Bowling Green in Week 9. Northern Illinois failed to cover the 7-point spread, and the 29 points went UNDER the posted total of 48.

Chandler Harnish ran for 116 yards and Me'co Brown had 95 yards off 20 carries in the win.

Nate Davis threw for two touchdowns to lead Ball State to a 38-16 win over Eastern Michigan in Week 9.

The Cardinals failed to cover the 26-point spread, while the combined score played just UNDER the day's posted total of 57.

Current streak:
Northern Illinois has won 3 straight games.
Ball State has won 8 straight games.

Team records:
Northern Illinois: 5-3 SU, 5-2 ATS
Ball State: 8-0 SU, 6-1 ATS

Northern Illinois most recently:
When playing in November are 7-3
When playing on turf are 6-4
After outgaining opponent are 5-5
When playing within the conference are 5-5

Ball State most recently:
When playing in November are 6-4
When playing on turf are 9-1
After outgaining opponent are 8-2
When playing within the conference are 9-1

A few trends to consider:
Northern Illinois is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Northern Illinois is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Northern Illinois's last 5 games
Northern Illinois is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Ball State
Ball State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Ball State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Ball State is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
Ball State is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Northern Illinois

Next up:
Northern Illinois home to Central Michigan, Wednesday, November 12
Ball State at Miami (Ohio), Tuesday, November 11

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Northern Illinois (5-3, 5-2 ATS) at (16) Ball State (8-0, 6-1 ATS)

Ball State looks to keep its unbeaten record and BCS Bowl hopes intact when it hosts Northern Illinois in a key matchup between Mid-American Conference West Division rivals.

The Cardinals are one of six remaining undefeated teams in Division I-A, having won all eight games by double digits. That includes a 38-16 home rout of Eastern Michigan in their most recent contest on Oct. 25, though they came up short as a 27½-point home chalk after starting the season 6-0 ATS. Ball State, which has outgained all eight opponents this season, is averaging 37.5 points and 450 total yards per game while giving up 15.5 points and 351 total yards per contest.

Northern Illinois is riding its own winning streak, taking its last three in a row, all at home. That includes a 16-13 victory over Bowling Green on Oct. 25, though the Huskies failed to cash as a seven-point home chalk. During its three-game winning streak, Northern Illinois is outscoring opponents by 13 points per game (24-11) and outgaining them by more than 100 yards per outing (332-230).

These rivals have alternated wins and losses over the past four seasons, with the road team prevailing in each contest (2-2 ATS). Last year, Ball State went to Illinois and prevailed 27-21, but the Huskies got the cash as 9½-point home underdog. The ‘dog is 3-1 ATS in the last four years in this rivalry. Finally, Northern Illinois is 7-2 SU in the last nine clashes, 8-3 ATS in the last 11 and 4-1 ATS in its last five trips to Ball State.

Despite their perfect record, the Cardinals sit in second place in the West Division at 4-0 (3-1 ATS), a half-game behind Central Michigan (5-0). Northern Illinois is in fourth place in the West despite a 4-1 league mark (3-2 ATS).

The Huskies have followed up a 7-0 ATS roll by going 1-2 ATS in the last three. Still, Northern Illinois is on positive pointspread streaks of 5-0 on the highway, 6-0 as an underdog, 5-0 in November, 5-2 in MAC action and 6-2 after a non-cover.

Despite its non-cover 10 days ago against Eastern Michigan, Ball State sports a bevy of ATS runs, including 27-11 overall, 10-4 in conference play, 8-3 in November, 4-1 after a bye, 8-2 after a non-cover and 5-1 on grass.

Both teams rely heavily on a strong rushing attack, with Ball State averaging 191 rushing ypg (5.3 yards per carry) and the Huskies rolling up 184.8 rushing ypg (4.5 ypc). However, Northern Illinois has been much better defending the run, holding opponents to 105.6 rushing ypg (3.7 ypc), while the Cardinals yield 156.8 rushing ypg (4.4 ypc).

For Northern Illinois, the under is on runs of 21-6-1 overall, 11-4 on the road, 19-7-2 in MAC play, 5-1-1 after a bye week, 7-0 against winning teams and 7-0 in November. Also, Ball State is riding under streaks of 9-4 overall, 5-2 against MAC teams, 5-0 in November, 6-0 after a bye and 6-2 on grass.


Toledo (2-6, 4-4 ATS) at Akron (4-4, 5-3 ATS)

Two days after its coach announced his resignation effective at season’s end, Toledo takes the field at Akron in a nationally televised MAC battle.

Toledo coach Tom Amstutz revealed Monday that he’s leaving his head-coaching post at the end of the season, as his Rockets have dropped 13 of their last 20 games since the start of the 2007 campaign. That includes a current 1-5 slump, with Toledo most recently falling to Central Michigan 24-23 at home on Oct. 25. On the bright side, the Rockets covered as a 3½-point home underdog in that contest, and they’re 4-3 ATS in their last seven outings.

Since tallying 54 points in a 55-54 overtime loss to Fresno State, the Rockets have scored a total of 59 points in their last five (11.8 per game).

Akron has alternated SU wins and losses in all eight of its games in 2008, most recently topping Eastern Michigan 42-35 as a 4½-point road favorite back on Oct. 18. Over their last three contests, the Zips have put up averages of 35 points and 405 total yards per game (204 passing, 201 rushing), but the defense has given up 33 points and 424 total yards per game during this stretch (219.7 passing, 204.3 rushing).

These teams have met just once since 1998, with Toledo rolling to a 35-20 victory as a 3½-point home underdog back in 2006. The Rockets are 6-0 SU and ATS in the last six series battles going back to 1994, with five of those being double-digit blowouts.

The Rockets are 8-21 ATS in their last 29 games on the highway, but they have cashed in seven of their last 10 contests on artificial turf. Meanwhile, Akron is on ATS streaks 7-3-1 overall and 7-1 after a bye, but the Zips are 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 games inside the MAC and 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight November contests.

For Toledo, the under is on runs of 4-0-1 overall, 5-0-1 on the road, 5-0-1 in conference, 9-4-1 in November and 4-0-1 on turf. Conversely, Akron sports over streaks of 7-2 overall, 4-1 at home, 5-0 in league play, 8-2 on turf and 4-1 against losing teams.


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What bettors need to know: Northern Illinois at Ball State

Head to Head

NIU is 7-2 against Ball St. since 1999. The teams have averaged 63 points per game in their last seven matchups.

The Stakes

Ball St. puts its perfect 8-0 record and the No. 17 national ranking on the line this week against NIU.

NIU comes in 5-3 after sweeping a three game home stand. The Huskies need a win to stay alive in the race for the MAC West division title.

Against the Number

Both teams have been profitable for bettors this year. Ball St. comes in 6-1 ATS while NIU is 5-2 ATS and 3-0 as the  underdog.

Big O at Ball St.

The Cardinal offense has been prolific, scoring 41 or more in four of eight games and being held under 30 just once.

Quarterback Nate Davis is a legit NFL prospect. He's thrown for 2,058 yards with a 68.5 completion percentage and a 15-5 TD-to-INT ratio.

Stellar D at NIU

Something’s gotta give on Wednesday, as Davis and company will be up against a NIU defense ranked ninth in the nation in scoring defense. The Huskies have held their last six opponents to 13 points or less and are allowing 221.5 total yards and 86.7 on the ground in that span.

The unit is led by DE Larry English, the reigning MAC MVP and a major NFL prospect himself.

Balance the Key for Husky Offense

While NIU can hardly be described as explosive on offense, its does possess excellent balance. Five different runners have led the team in rushing this season and five different receivers have led in receiving. The team has also featured three different starters at QB.

This week the unit will be led by redshirt freshman QB Chandler Harnish. Harnish comes in with a 57.1 completion percentage and a 5-2 TD-to-INT ratio.

Look for the team to emphasize a running game that averages 184 yards per game in an attempt to shorten the match and keep the Cardinals offense off the field.

Run D Key for Ball St.

Ball St. will confront the NIU running game with a rush defense that held Eastern Michigan to 67 yards on 29 attempts last time out.

First Half Woes

Ball St. has started slow each of the last three games. The Cardinals led 10-0 at the half against Eastern Michigan before winning 38-16. Over the three-game span they have scored only 20 points in the first half as opposed to 73 in the second.

Line Moves

The line opened at -9 and has since moved up to -9.5.

The total started at 47 and now sits at 47.5.

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MAC Doubleheader
By Judd Hall

Northern Illinois at Ball State

The race for the Mid-American Conference’s West Division heats up on Wednesday as No. 16 Ball State welcomes the Huskies to Muncie for an 8:00 pm ET showdown on ESPN2.

The Cardinals stand to lose more this week as an unbeaten season is on the line…and that doesn’t count their longshot hopes of qualifying for the BCS.

Brady Hoke’s squad has answered every test they’ve faced this season. The most recent challenge for his team was an easy one in downing Eastern Michigan, 38-16. Nate Davis seemed to struggle against the Eagles as he nailed 17 of 31 passes for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns. But Davis did come away with the first touchdown reception of his career against the Eagles. Ball State failed to cover the 27 ½-point spread, the first time they lost a game ATS in 2008.

Northern Illinois looked as though it was looking ahead to facing the Cardinals on Oct. 25 when the Falcons came to DeKalb. Redshirt freshman gunslinger Chandler Harnish completed just five of his 12 passes for 45 yards and two picks against Bowling Green. The Huskies were able to claim a 16-13 win as seven-point home favorites thanks to two Mike Salerno field goals in the fourth quarter.

Brobury Sports has installed the Cardinals as 9½-point home favorites, with the total at 47. Bettors could try and fatten their wallets by taking the Huskies to win outright at plus-300 (risk $100 to win $300). That line could have been bigger as Eddie Franks, heads oddsmaker at Brobury, points out. “Had you asked me a few weeks ago, BSU would have been 13½-point favorite against the Huskies.”

Franks continued, “On paper the Cards are clearly the better team, but Northern Illinois has played extremely well as a road underdog.” The oddsmaker concludes, “The Huskies have the best defense Ball State will have faced this season, which shrinks the line four full points.”

Our friend may be onto something here as the Huskies have the top defense in the MAC: they lead in scoring (13.6 points per game), passing defense (161.6 yards per game) and stopping the run (104.4 YPG). It should be noted that Ball State has scored 41 points four times this year and fewer than 31 points once.

We must remember that Hoke has done well at home as the Cards are 10-3 SU and 8-4 ATS when favored in Muncie since 2003. Meanwhile the Huskies are 1-3 SU, but 4-0 ATS as road ‘dogs in Jerry Kill’s first season at the FBS level.

The road team has gone 6-4 SU, but just 5-5 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head meetings in this series.

Toledo at Akron

The Rockets are coming off of a tough 24-23 loss to Central Michigan on Oct. 25 as 3½-point home underdogs. Aaron Opelt moved Toledo’s offense well through the air by completing 16 of 26 passes for 216 yards and one touchdown. DaJuane Collins was able to run the ball effective, compiling 94 yards and a score on 19 carries.

While Toledo’s offense played well, its defense left something to be desired. Tom Amstutz’s “D” gave up 402 yards, which is bad enough. But they couldn’t get the Chippewas off the field as evidenced by their converting 10 of 16 third downs. That stat is surprising when you consider the Rockets let opponents move the chains just 42 percent of the time.

The defeat was two-fold for the Rockets as Amstutz recently announced he is stepping down as head coach after what appears to be his third straight losing season in Northwestern Ohio.

Akron got everything it could handle from the Eagles on Oct. 18, pulling out a 42-35 win as a 4 ½-point road “chalk.” The Zips took a 34-21 lead into the fourth quarter, but found themselves down 35-34 with just under four minutes in regulation. That’s when Dennis Kennedy earned his scholarship by scoring winning touchdown with 14 seconds left; he finished the night with 277 rushing yards on 25 carries for three scores.

There isn’t much on the line for the Rockets in this MAC matchup aside from playing out the string. The Zips, on the other hand, are tied with Buffalo for the East Division lead. And a win here (coupled with a Bulls’ loss vs. Miami, Ohio) will help solidify their chances of making the league title game.

This series is tilted very much in Toledo’s favor as it is 6-1 SU and ATS since 1992. That includes the Rockets’ 35-20 victory as 3½-point home ‘dogs in 2006…the only time they haven’t been favored in this series.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants have installed the Zips as 4½-point home favorites with a total of 54. Bettors can back Toledo to pull off the upset for a hefty plus-170 return (risk $100 to win $170).

Toledo may not be having a great season, but it has found a way to get it done away from home recently by going 2-1 SU and ATS in its last three road games. The Rockets have seen the ‘under’ go 3-0-1 in their four road matches this year.

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By IndianCowboy

Northern Illinois vs. Ball State

Ball State opened up at -8 and has quickly moved up to -9 and -9.5. Note, Ball State is 8-0 and undefeated going into this game as are nationally ranked at 18. Harnish has thrown for 5 touchdowns and 2 picks for Northern Illinois and Ball State's quarterback has thrownfor 2,000 yards and had thrown for 14touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Northern Illinois has covered back to back ballgames and Ball State defeated 27-21 on the road last time and now Northern Illinois faces this team on the road. Northern Illinois has won three straight games defeating Bowling Green, Toledo and Miami of Ohio. How do you go against Ball State here who is undefeated nor go against a surging Northern Illinois team as well? No thanks.

Toledo vs. Akron

Toledo faces Akron on the road and the 2-6 team and Toledo has covered 6 straight games in this series coming into this game. Opelt has thrown for 8 touchdowns and 3 interceptions while Jacquemain has thrown for 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Toleo is a team that I refer to as a firecracker. This team can either succeed with great ease or fail miserably. Remember, Toledo nearly beat Fresno State at home, beat Michigan on the road and fell short by 1 point to Central Michigan at home. They are typically solid on bounce-backs and such is the case today. Of course 63% of the public is on Akron today who is at home and this is the same team that won at Eastern Michigan and lost to Bowling Green at home. Frankly, this game could go either way and I think there is plenty of more appealing to come later in the week than this game. Having said that, I lean on Toledo because I think given how low the line is Vegas expects them to bounce-back here.

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